[ARIN-consult] Consultation on Implementing Single Transferrable Voting for ARIN Elections

Peter Harrison peter at colovore.com
Fri Jan 7 12:50:57 EST 2022

Dear Community,

The aim of the consultation is to address some shortcomings in our existing
system. This note is to provide some background about the rationale for the
proposal for those who may not be aware of STV. Specific answers related to
the questions on this mailing list will come soon.

Currently, with a large slate of candidates there is a meaningful
possibility that one or more persons could win with less than 50% of the
vote. Surpassing the 50% threshold is often considered a clear mandate with

STV is designed for multi-winner elections where candidates are ranked in
order of preference. This allows you to get a better picture of the overall
sentiment of the electorate while ameliorating the minority rule

There are disadvantages, some of which are shared with our existing system.
For example, it is possible to win without passing the voting threshold,
but it’s limited to a single candidate. This can occur amongst a crowded
field of alternative choices after the primary choices are selected. A
disadvantage that STV doesn’t share with FPTP is that it is more
complicated due to the rankings and a different definition of the threshold.

The consultation document provides other comparison criteria.

No voting system will meet all desired goals, however we wanted to
investigate the appetite for the additional benefits and the degree to
which they outweigh the disadvantages in the eyes of the voting membership.

So, what is STV?

The consultation document tries to summarize the evaluation of many sources
of data. Wikipedia is a rich repository, however before starting your
research there, I’d recommend looking at these very short youtube video




You will find that most online sources of voting system analysis will focus
on political party based systems, which differ from our context, but will
be insightful.


   This link provides a compact evaluation matrix table of major voting
   systems: https://www.dprvoting.org/System_Comparison.htm

   This link provides a detailed, though accessible, single page

We are not unique in wanting to assess more equitable, party-agnostic,
multi-winner voting systems. RIPE uses an STV system and was consulted as
part of our research. NANOG is making preliminary evaluations.

It is possible to create many scenarios that test the limits of STV and
FPTP systems. I encourage you to consider their likelihood in our situation
and discount them accordingly. Please remember the overall goal of creating
greater equity using a globally deployed system designed by psephology
thought leaders.

ARIN members provide services to 29 nations and territories with over 370
million inhabitants generating over 21 trillion USD in annual GDP. The
gravity of this governance consultation must be considered in this context.

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